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You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image. Desperate young women are entering 'sex-for-rent' deals with strangers to secure accommodation in an overheated housing market. A Weekend Herald investigation has found these arrangements often stem from teenagers and young women being propositioned for sex by landlords and hostel owners, or targeted in online advertisements where men offer to share one bedroom apartments in exchange for "some real fun.
The number of reported 'sex-for-rent' cases has been described as the "tip of the iceberg" by a university student representative, who says many of his peers are struggling to cope with rising rental costs, while social agencies across the country have rescued vulnerable women trapped in these transactions.
Over the past week, the Weekend Herald used a fake email account to reach out to five men who recently posted online advertisements to the North American-based website Craigslist offering free rent to young women in New Zealand.
The men all responded within a few hours; with one saying he wouldn't expect sex on the first night "as ud need to get used to me". Under the pretense of entering one of these arrangements, two Herald reporters were invited into the downtown apartment of a man seeking a young woman to "have some real fun.
The man, who works for a large multi-national firm, posted the advertisement last month and said he had received four calls of interest so far. He showed the Herald around the apartment and said a young international student was currently sharing his king-sized bed; her belongings were in a suitcase on his bedroom floor. The student had recently arrived in New Zealand, he said, and they were having "consensual" sex. When asked if he expected sex in exchange for rent, the man said: I never want anyone to use it as a payment, though I would love to go for this with a nice person.